Monday Muse

Monday Muse: Calm Before the Storm

Ruby Aldridge by Annemarieke van Drimmelen (Light Motiv - Vogue Netherlands December 2013) 9

There’s always an undercurrent of anxiety and excitement in the few days leading up to a holiday like Thanksgiving, which is somewhat ironic considering the ease and relaxation that such holidays are supposed to promote. I try not to get too caught up in all of that, and have learned to lower my expectations for these events after years of overshooting. I can count only on a few good laughs, some delicious food, and a laziness that actually feels justified. All of which sounds pretty good to me.

Ruby Aldridge by Annemarieke van Drimmelen (Light Motiv - Vogue Netherlands December 2013) 7

Ruby Aldridge by Annemarieke van Drimmelen (Light Motiv - Vogue Netherlands December 2013) 8

However, I have no control over the amount of people I am about to be surrounded by non-stop in the coming days, and as an introvert this is pretty overwhelming to me, but I hope to take it in stride. To mentally prepare myself, I’m taking these next few days very slowly, indulging in too many cups of tea and the newspaper, following a regular sleep schedule, and avoiding alcohol. The pictures in this spread from Vogue Netherlands echo what I’m going for this week, both in behavior and dress, which is a quirky casualness, a lazy-day uniform with only the slightest bit of effort put into it.

Give me a swipe of natural-looking make-up, undone hair, oversized everything, and the swoosh of my Nike sneakers to break it all up, and I’ll be good to go.

Ruby Aldridge by Annemarieke van Drimmelen (Light Motiv - Vogue Netherlands December 2013) 3

Ruby Aldridge by Annemarieke van Drimmelen (Light Motiv - Vogue Netherlands December 2013) 4

Holidays are a strange time for me, especially Thanksgiving, a celebration famous for its onslaught of food and body-conscious conversation, not my favorite pastime as a recovering anorexic. I don’t think I’m alone when I say that these events can trigger a lot of past memories, some less pleasant than others. It can be hard not to dwell on those, but I aim to try. I personally want to tap into my younger self, the one who enjoyed these events with abandon, rather than getting caught up in the mind-numbing discussions re: calories and the supposed morality [read: good vs. bad] inherent to certain foods. I’m proud to be greeting this holiday with a healthier body than in recent years past, and the head-space to focus on things other than my own limbs. Hopefully that will include catching up  with old friends, time spent thinking about what I’m truly grateful for (something most of us fail to do in our day-to-day), joking around with my family, and simply enjoying the present moment–in all its likely-to-be-unexhilarating glory.

Ruby Aldridge by Annemarieke van Drimmelen (Light Motiv - Vogue Netherlands December 2013) 5

Ruby Aldridge by Annemarieke van Drimmelen (Light Motiv - Vogue Netherlands December 2013) 6

I hope that you, too, can dabble in a bit of the above–be it with family, friends, or both. If you’re spending the holiday alone, there’s no rule that says you can’t celebrate by yourself–indulge in some good food, get out of the house for a brisk walk or run, and read a favorite book or magazine, perhaps. It’s hard to keep your head up sometimes in the cloying environment of holiday celebrations, but know that somewhere–probably not that far away–I’ll be trying to do that, too.

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See the full Vogue Netherlands spread over at Visual Optimism.

And be sure to check out these deliciously twisted side-dish recipes to add something a little fresh to your tried-and-true traditions.

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